Understanding Ecstasy Addiction and Why People Get Hooked
Other than colorful pills known as “club drugs” many users of ecstasy- or MDMA- have absolutely no idea ecstasy is a psychoactive stimulant drug with the capability of causing permanent brain damage. But what is ecstasy addiction anyway? Like many addictive substances, ecstasy addiction comes down to one main thing: attempted self medication. MDMA is known for its “feel good” effect, and helps induce its users in a state of universal love and acceptance. Many report feelings of happiness, togetherness, and unity- which is probably why MDMA is a popular club drug, and used in large groups of people.
Unfortunately the drug has many adverse symptoms which cause its users a number of unpleasant side effects. In response, those who begin to exhibit these effects will take more of the drug to allay their discomfort. Many begin their perilous journey of MDMA addiction because they’re trying to loosen themselves up to have fun. Many with undiagnosed and untreated anxiety disorders may use MDMA as a way to overcome their crippling anxiety and relax. This type of self medication is how many harmful addictions are formed in the first place.
Those who leave MDMA addiction untreated leave themselves open to permanent damage of critical neurotransmitters which help to regulate mood and behaviors. As a stimulant, MDMA makes users lively and hyperactive, flooding the brain with feel good hormones like serotonin. Eventually with continued abuse, your body’s ability to produce serotonin on its own becomes severely compromised, and that’s when the effects of MDMA can be readily observed by obvious withdrawal symptoms.
Ecstasy Addiction Symptoms
Long term abuse of MDMA often exacerbates any pre-existing anxiety disorders, and may increase their symptom severity dramatically. In terms of immediate effects, MDMA typically causes:
- Chronic Insomnia
- Mood Disorders: Depression
- Confusion and Disorientation
- Increased Body Temperature
- Heightened Heart Rate
- Panic Attacks, without History
As long term use establishes itself MDMA addiction foments many symptoms of alarm including:
- Acute Paranoia
- Prolonged Anxiety
- Permanent Damage to Neurotransmitters
- Memory Loss and Damage
Did You Know?
According to data from 2009 ecstasy was the root cause for 1,038 suicide attempts? Thousands of patients are rushed to the hospital for MDMA related events; in 2011 the number of people hospitalized because of ecstasy was 22,498.
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Ecstasy Treatment Programs Are Easy to Come By
Once you know MDMA addiction is a legitimate disease, the next step is getting treatment. MDMA use and abuse is one of those drugs many consider to be harmless, but with extended use your ability to function normally will be severely impaired. Serotonin is one of the critical neurotransmitters your brain uses to regulate your mood, memory creation and retention, sleep patterns, and eating habits. Deficiencies caused by ecstasy abuse make it almost impossible to live normally without attempting to self medicate the conditions and symptoms brought upon by long term MDMA addiction.
MDMA addiction is rife among the United States, so luckily there are many treatment programs available for teens and adults alike to get help. Sometimes the fear of withdrawal can derail users from seeking the treatment they need, but new evidence-based techniques in addiction treatment medicine make overcoming ecstasy abuse a reality.
Specialized treatment for ecstasy rehab is fairly common and includes intensive inpatient rehabilitation. During this type of addiction treatment, users are taught how to overcome their cravings for ecstasy by unearthing the underlying causes of addiction and rectifying them with qualified addiction counselors entirely. Effective drug treatment means being able to get to the root of chronic addiction, it’s not enough to merely restrict your usage of MDMA.
During inpatient therapy you will participate in extensive drug counseling and receive expert guidance on avoiding the substance altogether. You can expect to learn new ways to manage emotions of depression, anger, anxiety, and self loathing by working extensively with addiction counselors. During intensive residential (inpatient) treatment you will reside in a medically monitored treatment facility 24 hours a day, giving you the opportunity to relinquish your physical and mental dependence on MDMA entirely.
Continuing MDMA Addiction Treatment in Outpatient Rehabilitation
Once the initial steps have been taken to overcome Ecstasy addiction during inpatient rehabilitation, recovering MDMA users advance to outpatient treatment, which is not as restrictive as its counterpart- but is critically important. In outpatient ecstasy rehab, patients continue their addiction treatment at an accredited facility, but are free to return home, and actively practice the coping techniques they’ve learned during inpatient rehabilitation treatment.
Counseling is a critical component of outpatient treatment, and is aided by activity! Those who evoke their inner hobbies and passions are better able to concentrate on their recovery efforts by keeping busy. It’s hard to ignore the elephant in the room when using MDMA is all you think about. During treatment your addiction counselors will encourage you to join recovery groups, which often hold events recovering addicts can participate in.
Avoiding old environments of drug use is critical to recovery, as breaking off the association of MDMA usage is critical to avoid relapse and continue recovery.
Ecstasy Drug Effects on the Brain
If you didn’t know enough about the detriments of ecstasy use before this point you will now. Research has shown MDMA causes users permanent brain damage in more forms than one. Below is a list of the harrowing long term effects of untreated MDMA addiction:
- Inability to Focus and Concentrate
- Dissociation from Bodily Functions
- Psychosis (dissociation with reality, common among stimulant drugs)
- Cardiovascular Collapse (death of heart and blood vessels)
- Acute Kidney Failure
- Damaged Nerve Endings
- Serotonin Disorders
- Fatal Overdose (Ecstasy Poisoning)
If you or a loved one you know is an active user of ecstasy, don’t hesitate to get help. The faster you treat substance abuse or chronic addiction disorders the better. Even though ecstasy is not typically a drug which is referenced to causing fatal overdoses, it happens more often than you think. Getting help quickly can mean the difference between life and death.